Irish dance tunes are rhythmic creations. And musicians and dancers are rhythmic creatures. 

This month, Eileen Ivers, Nic Gareiss, Marla Fibish, and Jimmy Keane help me consider how our instruments, our bodies, our intentions, our culture, and maybe magical forces shape our rhythm… and ourselves.


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Hear from Eileen about how she dances a rock-steady jig rhythm, with her bow arm:

Primarily it’s dance music. We’re here for the dancer to lift the feet, to get the dancer to FEEL that rhythm that will lift them in the air. So primarily it’s rhythmic. Then of course the ornaments fall into that and the rhythmic composition of the tune. -Eileen Ivers

Or how Nic Gareiss stretches and pulls that jig groove, like he did with fiddler Liz Carroll here:

 

Learn how mandolin player Marla Fibish helps students hook into technical AND magical threads of rhythmic pulse

Most of the people that I’m working with have not grown up listening to Irish music, have not heard it for years and years. So I’m gonna want to get them going in a certain pattern, to give them the best opportunity, the best odds of getting the physicality, the pulse of the music through their physicality on the instrument. -Marla Fibish

Or try playing your newest tune ten times around, like Jimmy Keane does. It helps him find the pulse of the music, and of each tune, on the accordion. Here he is, playing with wonderful Robbie O’Connell and Mick Moloney:

 

Join me as I tune in to the forces that shape the heartbeat of Irish music!

Thanks for listening and reading. Next month’s show will air on Tuesday May 8th and will feature music and accordion wisdom from the McComiskey family. I hope you’ll tune in. And if you haven’t heard every episode, I hope you’ll listen to the gems you missed:
Episode 01-Trip to Sligo
Episode 00-Introducing Irish Music Stories
Episode 02-Cuppa Tea with Karan Casey
Episode 03-Every Tuesday at Nine
– Episode 04 – Cuppa Tea with McKinneys and McCarthy
– Episode 05 – Handed Down
Episode 06 – The Backer
Episode 07 – The Piper
Episode 08 – Miss McCleod’s Reel at 113
– Episode 09 – Want of Wit
– Episode 10 – Cuppa Tea with Daithi Sproule
– Episode 11 – Return to Sligo
– Episode 12 – Season Two Preview
– Episode 13 – The C-Word
– Episode 14 – Dance Hall Days


Music Heard on IMS Episode 15
all music traditional, unless otherwise indicated

Tune: “John’s Theme,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist/Composer: Matt Heaton

Tune: “Maid Behind the Bar,” flute rhythm demo
Artist: Shannon Heaton

Tune: “Apples In Winter,” from An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas
Artist: Eileen Ivers

Song: “Only Love” from Change of Season
Artist: Daryl Hall & John Oates

Tune: “Triumph Theme,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist/Composer: Matt Heaton

Tune: “Paddy Canny’s Toast” from A Sweetish Tune
Artist: Noctambule (Marla Fibish, Bruce Victor)

Tune: “Meaning of Life,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist/Composer: Matt Heaton

Tune: “Man of Few Words” from Foreign Fields
Artist: This is How We Fly

Tune: “Maid Behind the Bar,” quarter-size fiddle demo
Artist: Hannon Sheaton

Tune: “Travel Theme,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist/Composer: Matt Heaton

Tune: “After Hours Theme,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist/Composer: Matt Heaton

Tune: “Yellow Tinker,” from Cormac Begley 2017
Artist: Cormac Begley 

Tune: “Boys of Bluehill, Westport Jig,” from Live at the Acadia Trad School
Artist: Jimmy Keane

Tune: “House of Ancestors,” from Volume 1: Sound Magic
Artist: Afro Celt Sound System

Tune: “The Boy in the Boat” (reel), from Rehearsal recording from circa 2008
Artist: Shannon Heaton (flute), Matt Heaton (guitar)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thank you for listening. Thank you to Art Costa, Eoin Stan O’Sullivan, Holly Foy and John Hruschka, Peter Bartman, and Brian Benscoter for underwriting this episode. Donations help me share the show with everybody.

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